EVALUATION OF UNDER-EXPLOITED SOURCES OF NON STARCH POLYSACCHARIDES FROM WEST AFRICA
A study of under-exploited sources of non-starch polysaccharides from West African food was carried out on four commonly used traditional plant food thickeners namely, Grewia spp., Triumfetta spp., Beilschmiedia spp. and Irvingia gabonensis, bought from the markets of Maroua, Garoua and Ngaoundere in Cameroon. The extraction and isolation of water-soluble non-starch polysaccharides (s-NSP) were performed using standard analysis test to determine the intrinsic viscosity, the purity of the extracted s-NSP and original flours, as well as the concentration of polysaccharides and other nutrients using the standard. Chemical analysis of the five food thickeners showed variation in ash, protein, fat, moisture and carbohydrate content. Ash content was comparatively high for Nkui and Grewia, with mean contents of 9.01 ±1.5mg and 7.92± 1.1mg respectively. Except for Nkui and Grewia which showed low protein content below 5% whereas, the other three food thickeners had no significant variation in their protein contents.
There were variations in monosaccharide’s composition of water soluble and non soluble polysaccharide across the five starch thickeners. Apart from galactose which was comparatively high with a mean value of 18.1±3.1mg in Nduk 1, xylose and fructose were not recorded for any of the water insoluble flour food thickeners.
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